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Things you should know about Arizona DUI laws

If you drink a beer, then drive a car, are you breaking the law? The answer depends on several factors. It's true that consuming a small amount of alcohol may not necessarily lead to illegal operation of a motor vehicle if you then drive to a convenience store or some other location. It's also true that alcohol reacts differently in every person's bloodstream, so a small amount may not make one person legally intoxicated, but may present serious problems for another.

Driving is privilege, not a right. If you plan to drive in Arizona, it is a good idea to research the state's traffic regulations and DUI laws ahead of time. If you possess an Arizona driver's license, it means you consented to certain things when you signed for the license. Lack of knowledge regarding such laws can lead to serious legal complications if a police officer pulls you over and decides to take you into custody on suspicion of drunk driving. Knowing where to turn in such circumstances can help.

Do you understand implied consent laws?

If the state of Arizona issued you a driver's license, you implicitly agreed to comply with certain rules. The following information tells more about implied consent, and can point you in the right direction if you run into legal trouble regarding DUI:

  • Implied consent laws require you to submit to chemical tests, such as Breathalyzer tests, urine samples or blood draws when a police officer lawfully requests you to do so.
  • When you signed for your Arizona driver's license, you not only agreed to such testing, you agreed to incur automatic administrative penalties, such as driver's license suspension, if you refuse to submit to lawfully requested chemical testing regarding possible DUI.
  • Upon conviction on a first DUI offense in this state, you may face minimum fines of $1,250, and spend as many as 10 days in jail.
  • If you are convicted of DUI in an incident where you were driving under a suspended or revoked license, your penalties will likely be much more severe.
  • The blood alcohol content that categorizes you as legally intoxicated and prohibited from driving a motor vehicle is different for a basic driver's license than it is for a commercial driver's license. In most states, including Arizona, the BAC limit for a basic license is .08, and much lower, .04, for commercial vehicle drivers.
  • If prosecutors charge you with DUI while operating a commercial vehicle, your job may be at risk, even if you are not convicted.
  • If you're under age 21, any amount of alcohol that registers in your bloodstream through chemical testing is enough to result in a driver's license suspension.

There is definitely no reason to lose all hope, if a police officer accuses you of DUI. Police officers are human beings who can err just as others can. Police officers are also bound by certain protocols and regulations regarding what they may say or do during traffic stops.

In fact, many Arizona motorists successfully avoided convictions by allowing experienced defense attorneys to challenge evidence on their behalves based on grounds of personal rights violations.

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